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Scalp Psoriasis

Psoriasis can occur just on the scalp, or more commonly as part of a widespread condition. Scalp involvement is often accompanied by involvement in the gluteal fold of the buttocks.

Key Points:

  • Dry scaly patches are scattered on the scalp and look like patches of psoriasis seen elsewhere
  • Mild involvement makes it difficult to separate this condition from seborrheic dermatitis or dandruff
  • When mild, confirmation of the diagnosis requires looking at other parts of the body for changes of psoriasis, for example the elbows, knees, lower back and nails
  • Scalp psoriasis can creep onto the forehead or the skin beyond the hairline
  • In some, it is very itchy
  • Treatment can be difficult in severe cases

Who Can Get Scalp Psoriasis?

It is a common location for everybody who has psoriasis, there appears to be a very stubborn thick type of psoriasis seen on the back of the scalp, in middle aged women, without involvement elsewhere on the skin. In some, there is lichenification or thickening of the psoriasis because of rubbing and scratching. Secondary infection is then common.

What Causes Scalp Psoriasis?

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition involving the T lymphocyte, a type of white blood cell. Normally, the time to manufacture and shed skin cells is about 28 days. In psoriasis, the process is approximately 7 times faster and the outer cells are poorly formed and donít shed properly, they tend to pile up on the skin that produces scale.


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